I need to apologize to my followers for the post that I put up yesterday with the same title. After I viewed the post, I realized that the photographs in the article were not up to my usual standards. For some reason I was thinking more about the technical correctness of the photographs and not enough about the visual feelings that I was trying to convey with my art. Sometimes a photograph can be technically perfect, but artistically awful. So, I went back and studied my original photographs. Then I reworked my darkroom techniques (which is now software) making sure that I was retaining the original feel of the pictures as I saw them when I took them. So, I hope you can accept my apologies.
This past February I took a much-needed short vacation to Arches National Park in Utah. I ended up shooting a lot of photographs there, so I wanted to share a few more from that trip.
If you have never been to Arches National Park, I highly recommend it. There is truly no other place like it on this planet. The landscape is just otherworldly. If it were not for the vegetation, it would be quite easy to imagine that you are standing on another planet in another part of our galaxy. Being the sci-fi nerd that I am, I often think about the old Star Trek episodes or the Star Wars movies when I am in this place.
Not only is the landscape out of this world, but the Park’s character changes completely with the weather and the skies. One of the advantages of visiting in the winter is that the weather can change almost in an instant. In this set of photos, I have tried to select a few images to highlight the varying feel of the park in different lighting and weather scenarios.
Here are a few things that you might want to consider before visiting Arches National Park. First, during the “normal” tourist months from say April through October the park is extremely crowded, and it can be difficult to find lodging in nearby Moab. The park has a wonderful campground in an area known as Devils Garden, but it is booked many months in advance. Second, during those warmer months the heat can be quite intense in the desert Southwest. Arches National Park is located above 5000 feet (1524 meters) elevation, so you want to make sure that you bring plenty of water. And, take it easy if you’re not used to hiking in the higher elevations. Between the heat and the altitude, it can be pretty easy to find yourself overcome. I have seen many folks over the years get themselves into serious trouble by simply not bringing enough water.
I like to visit the park in the off-season because it is much less crowded, and I personally prefer hiking in cooler weather. Finding lodging in Moab is really easy as there are plenty of nice hotels. If you are an RV person, there are many wonderful RV campgrounds located near the town. One of the things that I like most about Arches is that it offers such a variety of terrain and access to that terrain. If you’re looking for hard-core adventure, you can definitely find it in the park. There are numerous trails where you will hardly see another person at certain times of the year. Take a look at a previous post I made, Solitude, and you will see what I mean.
On the other hand, there is plenty to see with 1/4 mile (0.4 kilometers) walks out of the many parking areas and viewpoints. Several of the images that I have taken in the last few posts about Arches, were taken right near the road. Of course, there are numerous trails that are in between super easy and super adventurous, and those trails are great for short family day hikes.